Andy Murray defeated David Ferrer in three sets to clinch the Miami Masters title and regain the World No 2 ranking, in a thrilling final at the Crandon Park Tennis Center in Florida on Sunday.

The Briton saved a match point on his way to winning the hard-fought encounter 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) in just under three hours, for his second Miami title and ninth Masters triumph.

Andy Murray

Murray got off to a poor start as World No 5 Ferrer raced into a 5-0 lead in the opening set. The Scot managed to break the Spaniard and get two games on the board but it was not enough to prevent his 30-year-old opponent from opening up a one-set lead. Murray regained his composure to bounce back in the second and won the set 6-4 to force the tie into a third and deciding set.

The final set proved to be error-strewn and uncertain, with eight breaks of serves shared evenly between the two players. Murray had the chance to serve for the title, leading 5-4, but Ferrer fought back to keep himself in the contest. The Spaniard then had a match point on Murray's serve at 6-5 but the British No 1 survived a Hawk-Eye call. The tie thus entered a deciding tie-break that saw Murray easing to a 7-1 victory.

The victory brought Murray his 26th career title and ensured he moved above Roger Federer in the new world rankings. The Scot was ranked No 2 for three weeks back in 2009.

"It was such a tough match. It could have gone either way, both of us were struggling physically at the end. It's so tough against him. He has a great attitude, he's a great fighter. I am sure we will have more tough matches in the future," Murray said.

"I just managed to fight well in the end. They were incredibly difficult conditions, very windy, extremely humid and hot. I served poorly and if I'd served better, I could have made things easier for myself. That's something I'll need to do better during the clay season," he added.